I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s almost the end of January. I’ve had a good but full time over the last month. Many of you will have heard about our time at beach mission during last Sunday’s services. Since then, amongst other things, I’ve been working on planning for the year, particularly with regard to our kids and youth ministries, as well as working on a statewide Children’s Ministry Training Day.
As I write, I’m on a plane to Melbourne for the wedding of a good friend who I’ve been part of discipling over many years. It’s been great to have the opportunity to be present with her this weekend as it’s been a tricky journey for her, discerning what following Jesus looks like in the situations she’s found herself.
It’s interesting to note the timeliness of my presence in Melbourne in terms of being able to see family and other friends who also have significant things happening in their lives. I’m so aware in it all of the hand of God enabling me to be in the place and at the time He has for me to be there. And I continue to reflect on the questions I asked in my sermon last week: Where are we called to be and to ‘dwell’ this year? Who are the people of peace in our life? Who are we on the journey with?
How have your reflections around those questions been this week? Either Malcolm or I would love to talk further with you about your thoughts on those questions and how we can support you in the midst of that.
Another thing I’ve done this week is to take some time to retreat and pray further about the coming year. It’s amazing how helpful a few hours set aside for this purpose can be. Connecting with the Source of life, seeking His wisdom, guidance and direction in a relaxed and different environment with nature around helps this process. I used a tool with some helpful Bible reflections and useful questions that the Spirit used to open me up to what He was saying. If you are interested in accessing this or other material, just let me know; I have a few things that have been put together for the purpose of this kind of reflection. Time, space, conducive environment and a heart willing to receive . . . all are helpful ingredients for such reflection. Conviction, repentance, clarity, energising and empowering were all part of my experience as I entered into this space. Sharing with a friend some key aspects of what God was saying will also enable us to be accountable in this process.
How have you gone at abiding through January? Would it be helpful for you to intentionally create some space to reflect and abide as the year gains momentum.
Abiding, pruning, growing and fruitfulness – this is the rhythm of life we’re called to live into. It’s only as we abide in the Vine that our lives will bear good fruit, fruit that will last.